Mahathir wants to save Malaysia from the mess he created
Mahathir wants to save Malaysia. So he has launched his ANC and has taken over as the de facto Opposition Leader. But what many Malaysians, especially the younger generation, do not know is that the mess that Malaysia is now in are all Mahathir’s doing. He left so much shit and now he is offering to help clean that shit.
THE CORRIDORS OF POWER
Raja Petra Kamarudin
Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the new de facto Opposition Leader and leader of the ANC (Anti-Najib Campaign), wants to save Malaysia. He wants to save Malaysia from the mess it is in. However, he is very careful in not talking about what mess he means precisely because most of this mess was what he himself had created.
For example, look at this news item from Malaysiakini:
The National Security Council Bill 2015 has been gazetted into law, without royal assent, the day after the Council of Rulers asked for the bill to be refined. According to the gazette published on Tuesday, the bill was declared as assented on Feb 18, 2016, under Clause 4(a) of Article 66 of the Federal Constitution (READ MORE HERE).
Can you see that the Rulers have been reduced to a rubberstamp? And then Mahathir grumbles that he is not being allowed to meet His Majesty the Agong (because, according to Mahathir, His Majesty is under house arrest) to present his Citizens’ Declaration with, kononnya, 1.2 million signatures, which have now been exposed as a scam and is under police investigation.
The British set up a system of checks and balances with the Rulers as the trustees so that Parliament cannot become a dictatorial body. If Parliament tries to pass bad laws then the Monarchy can refuse to sign them and can send them back to Parliament for re-debating and/or for amendment.
Mahathir, however, did not like sharing power so he removed that power of the Rulers (after earlier removing the powers of the Judiciary) and from then on he ruled Malaysia as a dictator. Even Parliamentarians from Barisan Nasional who opposed certain Bills that Mahathir wanted passed were suspended from Parliament.
So all BN MPs had to vote the way Mahathir wanted them to vote and not vote according to their conscience or else they would face the risk of getting suspended from Parliament. And now Mahathir is grumbling about it and is angry that the BN MPs will not pass a vote of no confidence against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
In 1993, in what is now known as ‘The Constitutional Crisis’ between Mahathir and the Rulers, Malaysia’s Parliament approved amendments to the Malaysian Constitution, in spite of the Rulers’ objections, which essentially allowed laws to be passed without the need to obtain royal assent to implement these laws.
As what Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah said at that time, this allowed Mahathir to rule as a dictator without having to share power with the Rulers and all the checks and balances that the British had installed in Malaysia’s system of government were removed by Mahathir to allow him absolute power. In short, Malaysia was a Constitutional Monarchy in name but a Republic in practice.
The other issue that has torn Malaysia apart and has divided Malaysians into two groups (which is even more dangerous than the problem of the racial divide) is the issue of Islam and the Syariah courts — and everything that is triggered by this problem such as the Allah word, Bahasa Malaysia Bibles, conversions, apostasy, child custody when couples divorce and one ex-spouse leaves Islam, and so on.
One example and a case often quoted to demonstrate this problem is as follows:
On Wednesday 30 May 2007, a three-judge Federal Court panel ruled by a 2-1 majority in the case of Lina Joy v Majlis Agama Islam Wilayah Persekutuan and 2 Ors that only an Islamic Shariah Court has the authority to confirm a Muslim’s apostasy and authorise the removal the word ‘Islam’ from the religion category on their government identity card.
The ruling was based on the 1988 amendment to Malaysia’s Constitution which dictates that once a person is legally recognised as a Muslim all their religious legal issues are to be dealt with by the Sharia courts, not the civil courts.
The 1988 constitutional amendment, Article 121 (1A), states that civil courts have no jurisdiction on any matter which falls within the jurisdiction of the Syariah (Sharia, Islamic Law) courts. This amendment was introduced to resolve the conflicts between decisions of civil and syariah courts. The intention of the parliament was to oust the jurisdiction of the civil courts from hearing any matter which is within the purview of the Syariah courts. Before the enactment of clause 1A, decisions of the Syariah courts could be reviewed by the High Courts. According to the then Prime Minister, Dr Mahathir, Muslims were not happy with civil courts overriding the decisions of syariah courts. (READ MORE HERE).
The Syariah courts have jurisdiction over Muslims only in matters of family law and religious observances (such as violations to the tenets and rituals of Islam), and can pass sentences of not more than three years imprisonment, a fine of up to RM5,000, and/or up to six strokes of the rotan. That is all.
Further to that, Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia says, “The Attorney General shall have power, exercisable at his discretion, to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence, other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court-martial.”
So this is where the problem arises. The Attorney General has no power over the Syariah courts. So if the matter involves Muslims or family matters involving Muslims you can’t go to a civil court to argue your case. And that is what the 1988 amendment that Mahathir pushed for has done to Malaysia.
And that is why the country is in a mess.
And now Mahathir is offering himself as that person who is going to save Malaysia. But most of the problems we need saving from (such as those mentioned above) were Mahathir’s doing. We actually need to save Malaysia from Mahathir rather than ask Mahathir to help save Malaysia. (And DAP will privately tell you the same thing although publicly they will not admit that).
Mahathir left such a mess that it is tearing the country apart. And with the way the anti-Islam sentiments are spreading, it would not be impossible to see a religious war explode that is going to be far worse than the race ‘war’ of 1969. Just the two issues above are enough to demonstrate the seriousness of the situation. If I list down the entire mess that Mahathir left us many of you might just decide to pack your bags and migrate to another country.